Lesli Linka Glatter Interview: ‘Homeland’ director
How is “Homeland” able to keep its finger on the pulse of current events? Director Lesli Linka Glatter reveals that before cameras start rolling each season the creative team takes a week-long trip to Washington D.C. to meet with leaders in the intelligence community. “That’s a very sobering experience for all sorts of reasons,” she says. And that’s precisely what they’re after: creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon lead with the question, “What keeps you up at night?” And the unsettling stories flow from there. Watch our exclusive video interview with Glatter above.
A TV vet with an endless list of credits — including “The West Wing,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Freaks and Geeks,” and “ER” — Glatter joined the Emmy-winning Showtime espionage series in its second season and became the producing director in season three. “It’s really exciting because we reinvent the show every season,” she explains. “We’re always in a new city, hiring a new crew, and building new sets” as the show explores “what’s going on in the world.”
Consider season seven, which just finished airing in April. In it, former CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) took on the administration of President Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) to secure the release of the 200 intelligence agents who were imprisoned under her order. A president at odds with the intelligence community — who would ever believe that?
Glatter started out as a dancer and choreographer before transitioning into directing with the short film “Tales of Meeting and Parting” (1985), for which she received an Oscar nomination. Her TV work has brought her seven Emmy noms: one for directing “Mad Men” in 2010 and six for “Homeland” (Best Drama Directing in 2013, 2015-2017; Best Drama Series in 2015-2016).
She also won a DGA Award for “Mad Men” in 2010 and another for “Homeland” in 2015. She was nominated another four times by the guild: once more for the original run of “Twin Peaks” in 1991 and three more times for “Homeland” in 2013, 2014, and 2016.